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Dry eye specialists should be on the lookout for ‘zebras’ in the summer

September 2, 2014

It is summertime in the northern latitudes, and all is well in the dry eye clinics of North America. Remember how hard it was to be a dry eye doc last winter during the polar vortex? All of your patients felt lousy, and every day you questioned the wisdom of treating dry eye. Now, the weather is warm, the humidity is high, you are between the allergy vortex of the shoulder seasons, and all of your patients are convinced that you are a genius. Be careful, though. The summer clime is the perfect environment for zebras.

Common things are common. You certainly remember that old saw, “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” The daily life of a dry eye expert is as filled with horses as a wrangler on the Montana plain. Except in the summer, that is. When the weather is warm and your patients are well and happy, now is the time to be on the lookout for the unusual and rare. Let me share a couple of conditions that are uncommon and easy to miss unless you have your “zebra sensor” on: molluscum contagiosum (MC) and superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis (SLK).

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